NACAC Youth Art Contest — “What Does Family Mean to You?”

NACAC is seeking youth and young adult artists who want to share their perspectives on the importance of family (birth, foster, adoptive, kinship) through art. This contest is open to youth/young adults ages 14 to 30 who have experienced adoption, foster care, or kinship care. The submitted artwork can include painting, drawing, collage, graphic design, and photography. All must be created exclusively by the youth or young adult.

By submitting artwork, the artist grants to NACAC the unlimited right to use the artwork in its work.


  • $200 for first-place winner
  • $100 for second-place winner
  • $50 for third-place winner
Artwork Submission Form

Contest Rules:

By submitting any artwork to NACAC Youth Art Contest, entrants accept and agree to the official rules for participation outlined here. Any violation of these rules may, at NACAC’s discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of NACAC regarding this contest are final and binding in all respects.

  1. Eligibility: Any youth/young adult ages 14 to 30 who has experienced the child welfare system through foster care, kinship care, or adoption
  2. Categories and number of entries: Media categories include drawing, painting, collage, photography, and graphic design. Individuals may submit multiple pieces of artwork but may only win once. Each individual is allowed three submissions in total.
  3. Entry requirements:
  • Only pieces made after January 1, 2019 are eligible for submission. Only artwork inspired by the theme of what family means to you may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be an original work of the entrant.
  • Because the contest is designed to encourage and recognize youth voice and creativity, help from other young people who have experienced the child welfare system, kinship care, or adoption is allowed and encouraged. While multiple artists may be recognized for their participation on one piece, only one prize will be awarded per winning art piece.
  • All entrants must complete full entrance information, containing the name of entrant, age, relationship to the child welfare system, permission of parent or guardian (if under 18 years of age), email address, mailing address (complete with zip code), and phone number. Each entry must be accompanied by an artist’s statement of at least 10 words but no more than 200 words. The artist’s statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme, and the content of the work. Both the title and the artist’s statement must be the work of the individual(s) who created the work.
  • Use of copyrighted material (images) or trademarks (company names, logos, brands, etc.) is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.
  • Content must comply with all local and national laws of the United States. Content must not 1) promote illegal behavior; 2) support racial, religious, sexual, or other discriminatory prejudice; 3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; 4) violate rights established by law or agreements; 5) invade the privacy of any person; or 6) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by NACAC in its sole and conclusive determination.

Entry Submissions

All artists must complete the contest entry form. Digital images (high-resolution only) may be submitted here. Paintings, drawings, and collages should be mailed with protective packing to Mercedes Zahler, NACAC, 970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106, Saint Paul, MN 55114.

Submissions must be received by October 25 at midnight central time. There are no entrance fees.

The decision of the judges will be final. Winners will be notified no later than November 1.

By submitting a piece, you are agreeing to abide by all contest policies and rules. All entries become the property of NACAC and cannot be returned. By submitting a piece to the art contest, you agree to the following: I hereby give NACAC (and those authorized by NACAC) a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of that entry (including my name and artist’s statement), in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion, website, exhibition, and commercial products, including but not limited to NACAC publications and online sites. I understand that I shall not receive any compensation for these uses and that NACAC is under no obligation to use the entry in any way. I waive any claim or right of action arising out of the uses described in this release.

For any question regarding this contest contact or 651-644-3036 ext. 112.

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.


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